NYC Schools Data

The New York City public school system comprises 1,856 schools and 1,133,963 students – an enrollment greater than that of 38 states.

The system is home to some of the highest-achieving public schools in the country, and some of the lowest. A high degree of racial and socioeconomic segregation contributes to unequal opportunities and outcomes. The data analysis below provides a quick look at that segregation and the resulting gaps. For a deeper dive into the numbers, visit the NYC Department of Education data page.


Ethnic Breakdown (%)


2016 Graduation Rate* by Ethnicity

*Represents the percentage of the 2012 9th grade cohort that had earned Regents and Advanced Regents diplomas by June 2016. An Advanced Regents diploma requires passage of nine Regents exams and is one indicator of college preparedness.


Source: New York City Department of Education, 2015-2016 school year data



The Case for School Integration

The Episode 1 introduction cites a 2015 This American Life series on school integration from journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. She mentions that the achievement gap between black and white students was cut in half between 1971, the start of wide-scale school integration, and 1988, the peak of school integration. The data below, from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, bears this out. Figures 1 and 2 show that the scores of black students rose sharply during this period, while white scores remained fairly constant. Figures 3 and 4 show the score differential between white and black students over time. Notice the greater than 50% declines in Age 13 and 17 reading scores and nearly 50% declines in Age 13 and 17 math scores.